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Bentley has begun work on a four-wheel-drive SUV model scheduled to hit the automotive shelf in 2014. You heard it right, a Bentley off-roader.

Company CEO Wolfgang Durheimer confirmed to Top Gear that an SUV is already in development, and will be based on the architecture of the next generation Audi Q7, Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne; an architecture dubbed ‘MLB’.

If you need some reassuring - and we suspect you might - Durheimer has previous form. He was formerly R&D director at Porsche and worked on the development of the Cayenne. And controversial though it might be, there’s no denying the 4x4 Porker is good to drive.

The Bentley SUV will be more of a crossover - a ‘shooting brake’ - and will likely feature the range-topping 6.0-litre 621bhp W12 petrol engine from the Continental Supersports (pictured above), as well as a version of the 6.0-litre V12 diesel engine from the Audi Q7. In that application, the engine develops 737lb ft of torque and accelerates from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds.

Top Gear drives the Bentley Continental Supersports

Although the Bentley SUV is still waiting to be signed off officially by the VW board, insiders expect it to get the green light very soon indeed.

Is this something that tickles a part of your cerebrum?

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